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My offer wasnt accepted either!

December 13th, 2013 at 03:49 pm

Well I got husband's reluctant permission to approach FIL about a buyout deal.

I called and presented it like we were doing him a favor allowing him to get out of a deal he made before he needed so much cash.

Instantly he said No. He said he has it all planned out and everyone will be paid off by the time he retires. And he is counting on the $20k income as a second pension after he retires.

So then I repeated my line of thinking that he could pay everyone off faster by getting cash right now.

He then told me he wants to just continue the plan..."as long as you are still ok with the plan?"

I did a long hesitation trying to collect my thoughts. I said "well, we just thought we would get the money from you and reinvest in another property...but we havnt been able to do that...I didn't expect the money to be tied up for almost 4 years. "

Awkward silence.

Then he tells me he will stop paying the other payments to the other reletive to accelerate payments to me...he might be able to pay me off by 2015.

Well that really wont do anything for me. I've waited over a year, I'll be waiting another 12 months, whats another 12 months after that? We still cannot invest in a property, and right now is what I'm concerned about.

So I told him to keep it all as we have currently and got off the phone. I told husband the plan was a no go and husband got mad at me. He said he "told me so" and now he has to deal with the consequences. His dad would call him and ask a bunch of questions and get all freaked out.

Sure enough within an hour- FIL calls husband and husband has to backtrack my words to smooth out FIL's feelings. Saying its really no big deal and no one is mad about how things turned out.

I promtly burst into tears because I kind of thought he would go for it. I thought we could get the property back. Then husband is mad at me for crying saying I KNEW we wouldn't have enough money when we moved back from California but I wanted to come home anyways (remember husband didn't actually want to come back home- he still wishes things worked out better in Cali and we stayed).He reminded me that I KNEW I had to find a job when we returned home because our income was not enough to cover our expenses. And I was prepared to find a job.

And then I had a baby. And I wanted to find a way to not get a job right away. And thought this could work out. But it didn't. So I've already applied to 5 jobs.

So the proposal was rejected. My money is tied up and I wont get it for 2 years. UGH, time to figure out how to get over this.

Good Perspective on a Bad Experience

December 10th, 2013 at 08:11 am

Regarding my California gang that owes me money-
I got a call today from the partner that institutionalized himself. He said he is starting to clean up his accounts and wants to know where we are with our repayments.

He promised to pay me his remaining amount owed in full by Jan 1st! So he'll be off my bill collections list and I'll just be dealing with the new business owner who owes me $14k.

I have a lot of bitterness and resentment regarding the whole episode but talking to the institutionalized partner made me feel better.

Since husband and I departed that business:
The air conditioning broke and a unit had to be replaced.

The water well broke.

The electricity has been on/off and had to be repaired.

Some equipment broke.

Its been nothing but things breaking since we left. If we had stayed even 1 month longer we would have had to cough up $4k for a new A/C unit. And it sounds like its one thing after another breaking- we would have been so broke if we had stayed.

So we stayed at the business a little too long- but we still got out before things got worse!

I'm just in a better mood because things are looking like we might collect all the money owed to us, and the new year is coming- which means our income might be increasing and our bills will be decreasing.

I am waiting to see how husband's disability hearing before I write 2014 goals.

Debt owed to me update

December 4th, 2013 at 06:52 am

cautiously happy.
Regarding the money owed to me from California. Well the debt has been split in half- with a new business owner agreeing to pay half, and the old partner who was bought out agreeing to pay half.

Yesterday the old bought out partners brother sent me $5k. Bringing his balance down to $7k left to pay. relief.

Also yesterday the new business owner sent me $1k. He said finances are so tight right now because he just bought out the old partner. Husband thinks he is going to bleed the money out to me because he is friends with our ex business partner. Whatever- as long as I get the money.

The only complicated thing is now keeping track of which party owes me what amount of money.

Just so that I can keep track and have a place to refer to when I am uncertain of amounts owed:
New owner owes me $14k
Old business partner owes me $7k

If I really recover all the money owed to me I'll be so relieved. I definitely learned my lesson. Never lend money and never take an informal payment plan. And never go into business with someone! So much of my daily energy is spent reliving the mistakes and trying to rectify the consequences.

In other news- every day is still devoted to the baby. She's doing well- she is just so time consuming. I am not used to dealing with things that do not have an on/off switch.

Settlement Money Arrived!

October 10th, 2013 at 01:01 am

Crazy how I put complaints or wishes on this website and then they happen for me! Like, immediately!

Yesterday morning I was complaining about our settlement check for Workman's Comp was taking forever to arrive with no distribution date in sight. After my complaint I emailed the lawyer requesting an update and she said that she will deposit the money in our bank account that day!I just logged in and it's there!

About a week ago I put it out there in my blog that I was tired of chasing down the guy who owes me money and how he is so unreliable. That day I talked to him and he said he would get me a payment over the upcoming weekend. And he did!

This website has magical money qualities!

I wonder how the California disaster would have gone (or not gone) if I had been a regular blogger of this website at the time.

Anyways, for the settlement money that has arrived. I am writing big ginormous checks today to pay off our credit cards!

We also have our roofer coming in today to replace our roof for $10,500. He's taking the 14- 17 yr old shingles off and replacing it with metal. He said our roof is so flat that shingles were a terrible idea for it. Water is pooling up there and shortening the shingle lifespan. New shingles were $2500 cheaper than metal, but we opted for metal because it is expected to get a full lifetime out of the metal, rather than a shorter lifetime of shingles.

While we were in CA the roof leaked and rotted a lot of wood and spread black mold in the nursery ceiling. We had two different people checking on our place semi regularly (someone was out here 1-2x a month) and no one noticed it. And we asked them to check when it rained because the roof was old! But they were checking the attic only for water damage, not the bedroom ceilings below the attic.

We were told when we bought the place over 3 yrs ago that the roof needed to be replaced "any day", and we often DISCUSSED saving up for it. But there always seemed to be a project that was a more short term priority. The timing of the roof actually going hit us pretty bad as we were coming off a huge financial investment with a lot of incoming transitional bills. It was a good reminder moment for me to SAVE UP FOR BIG EXPENSES!

And husband has our A/C guy coming out today to discuss adding A/C to our attic. We are slowly turning it into a Mancave/Playroom. It's huge, with a walk up staircase, and it WAS finished when we bought the place. But very old/dirty so we tore out the carpeting and damaged a lot of sheet rock with our remodel (we had to lift exterior walls and that caused cracks in sheet rock throughout) and thus used the room for storage. For years we have talked about what we wanted to do with the room.

This month we cleared out most of the attic and have decided to do a bare bones upgrade. We asked our handyman to update the electrical and plumbing up there and we were pleasantly surprised all was working. I remember when we were remodeling that our permit inspector refused to pass our inspections because of that attic, not understanding it was going to be turned into storage space. But I thought our contractor finally got the inspector to "let it go". I guess the inspector got our contractor to upgrade all the systems!

The floor is plywood and it will stay that way for now. Husband wants to add an A/C vent and then put his TV, seating, video games up there for now. When the baby is crawling we will add carpet, new sheet rock, paint and redo the bathroom up there. Then she can have a play space and keep her toys up there.

That's it for spending the money. We'll have enough left over as a down payment on a future rental property purchase. My goal is to SAVE THE MONEY and chase down our California money to add to the account. Maybe by Christmas we will have collected all of CA money and will have enough for a down payment and repairs on a rental. And husband can have a project to work on. Or maybe the baby will be enough of a project. We'll see.

October Net Worth Increase

October 9th, 2013 at 03:59 am

Well I gotta love Passive Income.

Our Active Income from the rental properties is down because we now have a vacant rental. Our credit card balance is up because currently we are spending more than we earn, but our retirement account has increased by over $22k. So altogether our Net Worth has increased by $19k from September to October.

The Credit Card balance is bugging me.

When we first moved back home we had enough going on to put that on the back burner. But now that we are settled in, it is the last remaining dark cloud left over from the California move. I want it gone so I don't have the reminder of our bad CA move.

We have someone who owes us money that we are Constantly. Chasing. Down. He was supposed to mail us a payment yesterday, but since we have not heard from him, I plan to call him today and that means we'll get the next payment in about 2 weeks after 2 or 3 additional phone calls/text messages. His payment could almost knock the CC down by a third.

To my husband I brought up the subject of how I thought this guys payments would have eliminated our credit card balance by now and every month that we receive a partial payment we are being charged so much interest that our original payment plan with the guy is now costing us money. Husband responded with "I know, we must have paid like, $600 in interest charges by now." I then told him "we have paid $1400 in interest charges on just your card alone this year." (Thank you gut wrenching credit card statement that clearly outlines your interest paid for the year.) Husband actually gasped and then started angerly rambling about how our ex business partner screwed us. To make him (us) feel better I piped in about how ex business partner will never succeed and we are so much better off without him. It did make us temporarily feel better.

We are also waiting on a BIG check from husbands former employer who owes him a Workman's Comp settlement. We settled almost 3 months ago, and the bureaucracy to get the money is taking FOREVER. I def thought we would have the money by now. I'm not being impatient, husband filed for Workman's Comp over 2 YEARS ago. But as of 2 weeks ago the check was at our lawyers getting cleared and then they would send us a check for our cut. When that comes- it will eliminate the CC debt altogether. We plan to use a little of the remaining money to get the roof fixed and save the rest for a down payment on a future rental property purchase.

But the CC minimum payments are coming due in 9 days- so there wont be enough time to get any money owed to pay these suckers off before the next payment due. I need to plan to spend another month juggling money to get a minimum payment in.

So I'm kind of rambling here. Just organizing my thoughts. Trying to stop myself from staring at these credit card bills and freaking out over the balances.

I feel better now. I hope you have a better day too.

Credit Scores and Criminal History-Lessons Learned

September 24th, 2013 at 02:46 am

I had a wake up call in California, regarding credit and personal history following you to impact decisions and options years later.

I was under the general impression that once you get 1 or 2 credit cards, a house, a car and don't work in a field that checks your credit, then you were done needing to maintain your credit. You had everything that credit could get you. Maintaining a good credit score was mostly just a habit or point of pride after so many years of building it. I have maintained my credit as a point of pride. I didn't think I would need it again.

Ummm...not true. I saw the consequences of poor credit even for people that seemed like they shouldn't really need to worry about it. These people had other strong factors like income and recent success that would be taken into consideration.

When I was looking to escape California, my ex business partner said he really wanted to buy me out. But he couldn't due to his poor credit. He owned a home, paid cash for his cars, paid his bills...but although he REALLY wanted to buy me out he had no options. I thought "where there is a will there is a way". After all, he got to own his home by having his fiance buy it in her name using her credit. I thought "There are always alternatives".

Not always.

No bank would help him.
No hard money lender would help him.
I would not help him (and I really wanted out!)

So ex-business partner found a new business partner. New partner had a business already, he had established income. New partner was enthusiastic and really wanted to make this work.

New partner approached my owner/financing lender to try and assume my debt. He offered 20% down and was willing to go up to 10% interest rate. But unknown to me, new partner also had poor credit. My owner/financier called me and said "no way- this guys credit is awful and he has a criminal background. I am looking at a huge default and headache by taking him on." (seems the criminal background was from DUI's on the guys record.)

The new partner tried to get a hard money lender. nope. Couldn't get one. Doors were closing faster than we could think of options to pursue.

I called a realtor contact because at that point it seemed I needed to put the building on the market. The realtor said he had already been contacted by my ex business partner looking for lending help. But there were no options for someone with poor credit.

The realtor said to me "TashaC, I could get YOU a loan easily. You have great credit and rental property income. But without good credit, these guys will never finds anyone to lend them money. I know a hard money lender who lends out about four million a year, but I wont even approach him about someone with bad credit, and a criminal record? No way."

That conversation was a bit of a turning point for me. Here I had people who had established themselves, cars, houses, families, jobs and they couldn't get what they wanted due to poor credit histories. And with my ex business partner- I know it was from old mistakes years ago that he just never bothered to clean up, and never tried to establish new credit. He just stopped using credit and started paying cash. His credit score wasn't from recent credit mistakes.

It was interesting because I always figured you tried a new less appealing avenue until you decided the sacrifice was too great, or you got what you wanted. You cant get a loan with an ideal rate due to credit? You took a higher interest rate. Or you put more money down. You cant get a bank loan at all, you go with owner financing. You cant get that? You go with a hard money lender. But it seems that there is a bottom where you just cant get anything at all, and for both these guys, credit was a deciding factor.

And now- about Criminal Histories: I know a lot of people with criminal histories. Nothing chronic, just a mishap resulting in a few days in jail or court dates. Ranging from DUI's to drug dealing. It was always something that occurred in their early twenties and they have since moved on from it.

I always figured society gives you a "freebie" regarding a criminal conviction. These people I know all have families, they own cars, houses, have jobs. Consequences of their past don't seem to follow them. I thought a criminal conviction on your record resulted in someone saying "hmmm...I see that you were convicted of a minor crime back in 2002, but no other crimes since...seems that was a one time thing and not a character trait. Okay, you are approved (for whatever you are trying to do/attain)."

That seems to not be the case. Criminal backgrounds do follow you and prevent you from opportunities. The lender I discussed options with regarding the new partner, and the realtor both reacted as though a criminal background was a slammed door. There was no more discussion, no taking anything into consideration.

I'm glad I learned this because I always thought I had a "freebie" out there waiting for me. A slap on the wrist to use up with no real consequences. I figured I would use it one day. I'm glad I know now before I found out the hard way.

So those are my important lessons learned. Credit is always important, and jail time follows you forever.

And as for the property I was trying to unload? New business partner got cash from family and bought the place for what I owed. We have worked out an agreement that he will make payments to me regarding the down payment I paid. Somehow I became the bank. Where there is a will there is a way. We'll see how that works out.

After a long hiatus...I'm back. Humbled.

September 22nd, 2013 at 07:45 am

Hello Everyone,
I am humbly returning after 4-5 years away from this website. I was never in better control or in a better frame of mind than when I was regularly blogging here.

For the veterans of this site, this is Gamecock returning. New identity, fresh start. I am sorry I disapeared unexpectedly so long ago- I got caught up in large decisions and big purchases. I don't think I wanted to go through the daily "is this the right thing to do?" that a blog will produce during time intensive renovations and large purchases. Especially since I was uncertain to begin with.

To catch everyone up- buying a 1900 rowhouse, gutting it and building it from the studs up was a GOOD DECISION. This house is AMAZING and has appreciated instantly. This house has given us a good amount of equity.

After this project was completed, we made another GOOD decision to buy a rental duplex. It was a foreclosure in pretty good shape and has brought in a substantial amount of income every month.

After that duplex, we made another GOOD decision to buy a single family house (SFH) as a rental. It has turned out to be a GOLDMINE.

You see why I thought I didnt need this website or blog?

After that, I snowballed a few BAD decisions to get me where I am today.

A week or so after buying the GOLDMINE SFH, my FIL asked if he could have the property so he could get into the rental business. He said he would pay me exactly what I put into it (it was undergoing $45k/2 months time in renovations to finish it out). I said okay and thought I would reinvest the money in another. Well, FIL paid me in small and large chunks at various times over the last year and it was difficult to track and difficult to save. He still owes me about 1/3rd of the money- but the 2/3rd he gave me has been spent. Not re-invested, but SPENT. poof. gone. I finally told him this summer to pay me the remaining amount IN FULL when he has it. What did he do- put small chunks in a bank account with my name in it so I can access it. I think at this rate he will have paid in full in another 12 months.

After that terrible decision, I allowed husband to talk me into taking a large chunk from his payments and invest in a business across the country with our good friends. To give me credit, it took him a YEAR to talk me into this. But sigh. I took most of our liquid cash and put a down payment on a business in California. Our friend was going to be the brains, we were going to be the money. Everyone was going to make TONS of money.

Except our friend was less brains than we expected. Costly mistakes ensued that slowed down profit timelines by WEEKS and exploded the budget.

Except the initial budget was totally inadequate. The realistic budget was 4 times as much as we expected, and we spent EVERYTHING to keep afloat, and racked up $50k in credit card debt to get us through to the first payday.

Except that we were so SURE we were going to make TONS of money that we bought new furniture for our place in California and splurged on high end items, putting them on store charge cards. Then we had to pay thousands of dollars to bring those items back to our fully furnished home in GA and craigslist stuff for a fraction of what we paid.

Except that I trusted husband to run the business and I checked out from the beginning. I had no interest in the industry and I was promised that I didn't have to work and I took advantage of that promise. So I just wrote checks and trusted everything was okay.And I was promised a horse. I never got my horse and I'm bitter that I was manipulated by the promise of a horse.

Except that we got in a GIGANTIC fight with our business partner/friend and promptly everything fell apart. We no longer speak to our good friends that we moved across the country with which to partner up.

Except that I HATED California. I found nothing to like and I was unhappy/homesick/bored every single day. And I was pregnant too. And there are WOLF SPIDERS in CA. They are the size of an actual baby wolf and like to crawl up my drain pipes and hang out in sinks and bathtubs. The internet tells me they are non venomous so I learned to see them and ask them to not be there the next time I entered the room. Usually they would stick around just to add stress to my day. I'm not going to discuss the rattlesnake population that caused husband to buy rattlesnake protectant boots that he never used because we never saw a rattlesnake. But we saw some small wildfires and heard about decimating wildfires nearby. California is NO JOKE.

Except that we sold our interest in the business to someone for exactly the price that we had borrowed and took a verbal promise from this investor that we would get paid the rest of our investment to break even in certain sums over the next 10 months. We have received 1 payment so far 4 weeks later than agreed on and for less than half the amount agreed. Our former business partner negotiated to get himself paid back IN FULL PLUS $16k out of the deal.He negotiated this on the side unbeknown to us and we found out when our first payment was delayed because the guy paid the ex partner so much already.

But as of 3 weeks ago we are back in Georgia and back in our HOME! There is value in quality of life, and my life has dramatically brightened since coming home.

So that is where I stand today. $30k in credit card debt. $5k in the bank. A roof that leaked while we were gone causing $10k in damage. A baby coming in 5 weeks. And a husband that LOVED California and is convinced that if we just move to a different area, we can run the business successfully and make TONS of money. He muses about this on a semi-regular basis and if he really pursues it I might divorce him. True- infuriating-story.

Neither of us are working right now. This is the first time we will be DEPENDENT on the rental income rather than using it as a supplement. So this will be interesting.

But you know what? In California we spent 5 months FLOATING bills. We were making partial payments on everything from electricity to credit cards just to get through until payday. Guess what? In Georgia we can pay our bills IN FULL. It feels SO GOOD to not avoid the mailbox, to not feel dread as I open the bills. It feels SO GOOD to mail off payments in full now.

ok, so that's my story. Looking forward to coming back to this blog and returning to the GOOD decisions that this website instilled in me and taught.